The UN's Nabarro, EESC President Nilsson, and European Commissioner Ciolos

Today President Staffan Nilsson and the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Commission jointly hosted a major international conference on the theme of food for everyone – towards a global deal. The list of high-level participants is too long to reproduce here, but the full details of the programme and participants can be seen here. After opening sessions, the conference broke up into workshops on such themes as the global agricultural markets, food security as a right, the need for policy coherence and food security in developing countries. Our UN guests of the previous evening were joined, inter alia, by Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. In a further measure of the importance attached to the conference, two European Commissioners attended, Dacian Ciolos (responsible for Agriculture and Rural development) and Andris Piebalgs (responsible for Development). Indeed, Ciolos stayed at the conference all day. An excellent summary video of the conference is available on You Tube here. The conference conclusions will be published soon and I will post a link to them here. All-in-all, it was a good day and a highly productive one. In his closing remarks, Dacian Ciolos declared that he would leave ‘with greater hope and a clearer mind’ and I think that sentiment was generally shared.